Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies. At first glance, it holds all of the common occurrences in a revenge tragedy which include plotting, ghosts, and madness, but its complexity as a story far transcends its functionality as a revenge tragedy. Revenge tragedies are often closely tied to the real or feigned madness in the play. Hamlet is such a complex revenge tragedy because there truly is a question about the sanity of the main character Prince Hamlet. Interestingly enough, this deepens the psychology of his character and affects the way that the revenge tragedy takes place. An evaluation of Hamlet’s actions and words over the course of the play can be determined to see that his ‘outsider’ outlook on society, coupled with his innate tendency to over-think his actions, leads to an unfocused mission of vengeance that brings about not only his own death, but also the unnecessary deaths of nearly all of the other main characters in the revenge tragedy. When considering Hamlet’s generally isolationist and lonesome nature, it is possible to conclude that Hamlet suffers from a mental disorder. Throughout the course of the play, Hamlet tends not to share his inner feelings with others and does not have many close friends. One notable exception is Horatio, Hamlet’s closest and most loyal friend. Horatio is the only character to whom Hamlet expresses his true feelings, and Hamlet welcomes Horatio’s calm level-headedness, providing an insight into the kind of person Hamlet appreciates: “Give me that man / That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him / In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart, / As I do thee” (3.2, 64–67). If Hamlet’s idea of a friend is any indication as to why he strays away from shar... ... middle of paper ... ... be overstepping the boundaries of morality. Not only does Hamlet want to kill Claudius, but he also wants to damn his soul. This contrasts greatly with Claudius’ act of murder, which is carried out with no preference for the victim’s afterlife. As a result of Hamlet’s tendency to over-think situations, his mission of vengeance is once again delayed. Like all Shakespearean tragedies, Hamlet’s ending is no different in end-result. Hamlet’s separation from society and his self-imposed confusion caused by over-thinking results in the unnecessary deaths of most of the major characters. In turn, Hamlet’s pre-occupation with factors inessential to his mission of revenge slows down his action. It is this internal struggle that illustrates the intensity and complexity of Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy, something that is often looked at from a psychological perspective.
Revenge is a recurring theme in Hamlet. Although Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s death, he is afraid of what would result from this. In the play Hamlet, Hamlet’s unwillingness to revenge appears throughout the text; Shakespeare exhibits this through Hamlet’s realization that revenge is not the right option, Hamlet‘s realization that revenge is the same as the crime which was already committed, and his understanding that to revenge is to become a “beast” and to not revenge is as well (Kastan 1).
With Outline Time and time again, we as a complex society have recognized in many pieces of great literature the idea of man and revenge. Throughout history, the idea of vengeance has destroyed large communities, populations and entire civilizations. The problem with man and revenge is that one may be side-tracted of why or whom he is avenging. This similar idea is conveyed in the theme of Shakespear's Hamlet , "Vengeance can confuse a man's mind and soul to the point where he may not be sure of whom he is really avenging." Shakespear uses foils in this play to allow us readers to understand Hamlet as a man and why and whom he is really avenging.
Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most famous work of tragedy. Throughout the play the title character, Hamlet, tends to seek revenge for his father’s death. Shakespeare achieved his work in Hamlet through his brilliant depiction of the hero’s struggle with two opposing forces that hunt Hamlet throughout the play: moral integrity and the need to avenge his father’s murder. When Hamlet sets his mind to revenge his fathers’ death, he is faced with many challenges that delay him from committing murder to his uncle Claudius, who killed Hamlets’ father, the former king. During this delay, he harms others with his actions by acting irrationally, threatening Gertrude, his mother, and by killing Polonius which led into the madness and death of Ophelia. Hamlet ends up deceiving everyone around him, and also himself, by putting on a mask of insanity. In spite of the fact that Hamlet attempts to act morally in order to kill his uncle, he delays his revenge of his fathers’ death, harming others by his irritating actions. Despite Hamlets’ decisive character, he comes to a point where he realizes his tragic limits.
Revenge has caused the downfall of many a person. Its consuming nature causes one to act recklessly through anger rather than reason. Revenge is an emotion easily rationalized; one turn deserves another. However, this is a very dangerous theory to live by. Throughout Hamlet, revenge is a dominant theme. Fortinbras, Laertes, and Hamlet all seek to avenge the deaths of their fathers. But in so doing, all three rely more on emotion than thought, and take a very big gamble, a gamble which eventually leads to the downfall and death of all but one of them. King Fortinbras was slain by King Hamlet in a sword battle. This entitled King Hamlet to the land that was possessed by Fortinbras because it was written in a seal'd compact. "…our valiant Hamlet-for so this side of our known world esteem'd him-did slay this Fortinbras." Young Fortinbras was enraged by his father’s murder and sought revenge against Denmark. He wanted to reclaim the land that had been lost to Denmark when his father was killed. "…Now sir, young Fortinbras…as it doth well appear unto our state-but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsative, those foresaid lands so by his father lost…" Claudius becomes aware of Fortinbras’ plans, and in an evasive move, sends a message to the new King of Norway, Fortinbras’ uncle.
As the play’s tragic hero, Hamlet exhibits a combination of good and bad traits. A complex character, he displays a variety of characteristics throughout the play’s development. When he is first introduced in Act I- Scene 2, one sees Hamlet as a sensitive young prince who is mourning the death of his father, the King. In addition, his mother’s immediate marriage to his uncle has left him in even greater despair. Mixed in with this immense sense of grief, are obvious feelings of anger and frustration. The combination of these emotions leaves one feeling sympathetic to Hamlet; he becomes a very “human” character. One sees from the very beginning that he is a very complex and conflicted man, and that his tragedy has already begun.
One of the most popular characters in Shakespearean literature, Hamlet endures difficult situations within the castle he lives in. The fatal death of his father, and urge for revenge leads Hamlet into making unreasonable decisions. In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet’s sanity diminishes as the story progresses, impacting the people around him as well as the timing and outcome of his revenge against Claudius.
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is very palpable as the reader examines the characters of Hamlet himself, as well as Laertes, son of Polonius, and Fortinbras, prince of Norway and son of the late King Fortinbras. Each of these young characters felt the need to avenge the deaths of their fathers who they felt were untimely killed at the bloody hands of their murderers. However, the way each chose to go about this varies greatly and gives insight into their characters and how they progress throughout the play.
In Hamlet Shakespeare is able to use revenge in an extremely skillful way that gives us such deep insight into the characters. It is an excellent play that truly shows the complexity of humans. You can see in Hamlet how the characters are willing to sacrifice t...
The main protagonist, Hamlet, undergoes a sequence of incidents that radically alter his character. When the audience is introduced Hamlet, he is clothed in all black—portrayed as a morose, dejected prince. The audience’s initial impression of Hamlet sets the attitude for the entire play. Even without Shakespeare delivering an intricate sketch of Hamlet's features, readers can visualize his pallid face, disheveled hair, and severe, ominous eyes. Clothed completely in black, Hamlet exhibits all the forms, moods and shapes of distress. Throughout the progression of the play however, it is exposed that Hamlet as a character has more than one side to him: he is as menacing as he is imprudent, and he is as unforgiving as he is inconclusive. The audience relates Hamlet’s internal troubles with the demise of his father, and the emotional tax of discovering the truth of his death but being incapable of extorting revenge. This is what principally transforms Hamlet. His struggle to suppress his anger towards King Claudius, his father’s murderer, is then transmitted onto Ophelia, which causes Hamlet to become a remarkably different character by the end of Act V. Revenge has a way of seizing a character’s integrity. Michael Price of the American Psychological Association wrote, “If you're a power seeker, revenge can serve to remind others you're not to be trifled with. If you live in a society where the rule of law i...
Theater audiences and literary enthusiasts are not spared of Shakespeare’s astonishing ability to capture the human spirit in his play Hamlet. The story of the tormented prince who desires revenge but is unable to take action delves deep into the human mind than plays before it. While some uninformed readers may write off Hamlet’s behavior to poor writing, it is clear that the Oedipus complex is the true driving force of Hamlet’s actions when delaying his revenge.
Throughout Hamlet, each character’s course of revenge surrounds them with corruption, obsession, and fatality. Shakespeare shows that revenge proves to be extremely problematic. Revenge causes corruption by changing an individual’s persona and nature. Obsession to revenge brings forth difficulties such as destroyed relationships. Finally, revenge can be the foundation to the ultimate sacrifice of fatality. Hamlet goes to show that revenge is never the correct route to follow, and it is always the route with a dead
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by the world-renowned William Shakespeare is an incredible play with an intricate plot despite its relatively short length. The main character trait that keeps the plot moving is Hamlets’ desire for bloody revenge against his uncle Claudius for murdering his father. As the story continues it becomes obvious that Hamlet and his desire for vengeance is self-destructive and hurting his family and life more than Claudius himself. Coinciding with this key trait is the theme that one should not let their emotions control their actions, as Hamlet can easily minimize collateral damage in his revenge ploy, but does not even consider it because he acts so much on impulse. With a discerning eye, one may notice
Hamlet’s mourning about the death of his father and the remarriage of his mother drives him to madness. This is the main characters inner tragedy that Shakespeare expresses in the play. First he considers suicide but the ghost of King Hamlet sends him on a different path, directing him to revenge his death. Shakespeare uses Hamlet to articulate his thoughts about life, death and revenge. Being a moral character he must decide if revenge is the right thing to do. Shakespeare relays many scenarios of reasoning to the audience about mankind His hero sets the wrongs on mankind right again.
Hamlet as a Revenge Tragedy Revenge tragedy was a brief sub genre of tragedy at the end of the sixteenth century, despite some clashes with the teachings of the church. In a revenge tragedy a crime, normally murder, has gone unpunished, because the criminal has too much power and cannot be reached by the law. This fact is revealed by a ghost to someone closely connected with the victim, laying on him the responsibility to revenge the crime. The revenger is usually an outsider who lacks access to the criminal, who is at the centre of a completely corrupt court. Poison plays a large part and methods of killing are intricate, insidious and imaginative.
Hamlet is the best known tragedy in literature today. Here, Shakespeare exposes Hamlet’s flaws as a heroic character. The tragedy in this play is the result of the main character’s unrealistic ideals and his inability to overcome his weakness of indecisiveness. This fatal attribute led to the death of several people which included his mother and the King of Denmark. Although he is described as being a brave and intelligent person, his tendency to procrastinate prevented him from acting on his father’s murder, his mother’s marriage, and his uncle’s ascension to the throne.